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Saturday, January 3, 2015

Wild Orchid: A Retelling of "The Ballad of Mulan" by Cameron Dokey

Wild Orchid: A Retelling of "The Ballad of Mulan"Rating: 2 Stars
Author: Cameron Dokey
Summary from Goodreads:

"Once upon a Time" Is Timeless Wielding a sword as deftly as an embroidery needle, Mulan is unlike any other girl in China. When the emperor summons a great army, each family must send a male to fight. Tomboyish Mulan is determined to spare her aging father and bring her family honor, so she disguises herself and answers the call. But Mulan never expects to find a friend, let alone a soul mate, in the commander of her division, Prince Jian. For all of Mulan's courage with a bow and arrow, is she brave enough to share her true identity and feelings with Prince Jian?

This is the first book from my "Read a Book a Page" challenge.

If you pretend Mulan is not a child, it's not so disturbing. That is how I will present this review. It follows the idea that a 14-15 year old is not getting married to a 20-something year old.

I love Mulan. She is without a doubt the best Disney Princess. The Ballad of Mulan is a beautiful poem. That's why I bought this. But this is just not that good. There is way too much back story. The book is 200 pages and she doesn't leave for the army until after page 100. There was too much talking instead of showing. And the action lasted 2ish pages Mulan is a total Mary Sue. She is good at EVERYTHING and EVERYONE loves her. I did like that the stepmother isn't an evil witch. She genuinely cares for Mulan and Mulan cares for her.

It all comes down to the fact that this book was boring, rushed, and cliche.This book didn't feel like it was authentic. If it had been longer it would have been better. Maybe. I so wanted to like this. I am now off to watch the real Mulan.

Final Feeling:

P.S: I thought about giving this to my friend who is a middle school teacher for her classroom library because this is aimed at a young audience. However I don't want young reading a book where the protagonist is about their age marrying a man in his 20s.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Book Review: Green-Eyed Demon by Jaye Wells

Green-Eyed Demon (Sabina Kane, #3)Rating: 5 Stars
Author: Jaye Wells
Publisher: Orbit
Summary from Goodreads:
Things to do:

1. Rescue sister.
2. Murder grandmother.
3. Don't upset the voodoo priestess.

The clock is ticking for Sabina Kane. Her sister has been kidnapped by her grandmother, the Dark Races are on the brink of war, and a mysterious order is manipulating everyone behind the scenes.

Working on information provided by an unlikely ally, Sabina and her trusty sidekicks--a sexy mage named Adam Lazarus and Giguhl, a Mischief demon--head to New Orleans to begin the hunt for her sister. Once there, they must contend with belligerent werewolves, magic-wielding vampires and--perhaps most frightening of all--humans.

But as much as Sabina is focused on surviving the present, the past won't be ignored. Before she can save those she cares about most, she must save herself from the ghosts of her past.

This is only the third book I've read this year. College is kicking my ass. Anyway, I loved this book!

Sabina, Adam, and Giguhl are charged with getting Maisie back from Lavinia. Much to Sabina's chagrin they are forced to except help from a human voodoo master and an gay/trans fairy.

The book is full of action. And not like shitty thrown in there for shits and gigs action. True, edge of your seat action with a purpose action. I really missed reading interesting books!

Sabina is much more tolerable. I must admit I've always liked Sabina. But she is growing into herself and it makes me so happy for her. Being a person she does make mistakes but she is getting better at not going all guns blazing and fucking shit up. She does fuck shit up, but I said she's getting better. This relates in her allowing her relationship with Adam to progress. Their chemistry in this one is adorable and sexy. And I have waited for 2 books for Sabina to put herself first and realize it's ok to love not just herself but someone else. 

Holy shit that ending!! That was just indescribable. I cried my fucking eyes out.

I also appreciate the way Wells handled the trans thing with PW. It was not derogatory. PW simply is a trans person. There were no jokes at her expense.

I literally can not think of one thing I didn't like about this book. Sadly I've read that the next two go down the shitter.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wishlist Wednesday

Wishlist Wednesday is hosted by Pen to Paper.
This is a blog hop focused on books in our wishlist.
This week I'm wishing for:
Eros the Bittersweet
Eros the Bittersweet
by Anne Carson
Find it on Goodreads:
A book about love as seen by the ancients, Eros is Anne Carson's exploration of the concept of "eros" in both classical philosophy and literature. Beginning with: "It was Sappho who first called eros 'bittersweet.' No one who has been in love disputes her. What does the word mean?", Carson examines her subject from numerous points of view and styles, transcending the constraints of the scholarly exercise for an evocative and lyrical meditation in the tradition of William Carlos William's Spring and All and William H. Gass's On Being Blue.

I can't remember when or how I cam across this. It's not strictly a book. It's essays written in poetry. Long love poetry that is 189 pages. It was published in 1998. And I want it. Carson explores the Greek view of Eros, or desire. I don't typically like poetry so I am a little nervous spending so much money on it. But I feel like it's one of those things I just have to try.

Have you read it? What did you think? Have you even heard of it before? Let me know,

Sunday, September 8, 2013

5 Minute Book Review: Grave Mercy by R.L. LaFevers

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1)Rating: 3 Stars
Author: R.L. LaFevers
Publisher:Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Series: 1st in His Fair Assassin 
Pages: 549
File Under: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Summary from Goodreads:

Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others. 

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

5 Minute Reviews are just what they sound like. I take 5 minutes and jot out my feelings about the book, whether it's because I don't have time for a full on review or because I don't have a lot to say. Let's get started.

Duval: He's the main squeeze. Not a jerk! Love him. (Is it sad that that's all it takes for me to like a YA male character. Sigh. Authors, quit making boys into jerks!)
Plot: A little predictable but sill enjoyable.
Setting: It's built up well.
 Sex: A YA book that acknowledges sex is a thing!
Cover: What is it about a girl in a red dress that drives me mad?

Didn't Like: 
Ismae: It's not that she's unlikable. It's more that she's kind of boring. Sad.
Why they have sex: Really? Really? That's the big mystery? MMhm.
Pacing: Parts of the book are real drags.
"Womanly Charms": I get it. Please quit saying it.
Duval's Mother: That was fixed/dropped pretty fast. Not impressed.

Finally: Sybella's story is the next one and I really want to read it!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wishlist Wednesday

Wishlist Wednesday is hosted by Pen to Paper.
This is a blog hop focused on books in our wishlist.
This week I'm wishing for:
by Emma Pass 
Find it on Goodreads:
2113. In Jenna Strong’s world, ACID – the most brutal, controlling police force in history – rule supreme. No throwaway comment or muttered dissent goes unnoticed – or unpunished. And it was ACID agents who locked Jenna away for life, for a bloody crime she struggles to remember. 

 The only female inmate in a violent high-security prison, Jenna has learned to survive by any means necessary. And when a mysterious rebel group breaks her out, she must use her strength, speed and skill to stay one step ahead of ACID – and to uncover the truth about what really happened on that dark night two years ago

I like dystopian books. And I can't resist when a read head is on the cover.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wishlist Wednesday

Wishlist Wednesday is hosted by Pen to Paper.
This is a blog hop focused on books in our wishlist.
This week I'm wishing for:
George, Nicholas and Wilhelm: Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War I
George, Nicholas and Wilhelm: Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War I 
by Miranda Carter
Find it on Goodreads:
In the years before the First World War, the great European powers were ruled by three first cousins: King George V of Britain, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. Together, they presided over the last years of dynastic Europe and the outbreak of the most destructive war the world had ever seen, a war that set twentieth-century Europe on course to be the most violent continent in the history of the world.  
Through brilliant and often darkly comic portraits of these men and their lives, their foibles and obsessions, Miranda Carter delivers the tragicomic story of Europe’s early twentieth-century aristocracy, a solipsistic world preposterously out of kilter with its times. 

Besides the fact that the author has my first name, I really want this book. I like History. I'm going to school to become a History teacher. I am especially interested in the First World War. I write essay after essay in this topic and never get bored. This is a book I need!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Review: Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

The Girl in the Steel Corset (Steampunk Chronicles, #1)Rating: 3 Stars
Author: Kady Cross
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Series: 1st in Steampunk Chronicles
Pages: 473 (Including the prequel which I didn't read.)
File Under: Young Adult, Romance, Steampunk, Historical Fiction
Summary from Goodreads:
In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one...except the "thing" inside her.When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no "normal" Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch.... 

Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special, says she's one of "them." The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits: Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret. 

Griffin's investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help--and finally be a part of something, finally fit in. 

But The Machinist wants to tear Griff's little company of strays apart, and it isn't long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she's on--even if it seems no one believes her.

This book was given to be by Tena via RAK. Thank you so much!

At first I debated and debated on whether or not I wanted to read this book. No sooner than I decide I would give it a try, Tena sent it to me! This book book had the potential to be a favorite. I can see it under its surface. However it fell a little flat.

What I Liked:
It was entertaining. I enjoyed elements of the plot. And while it was predictable and stiff in some parts, I still liked it. For the most part the pacing was adequate.

It got my attention in the beginning.The book starts off with a great hook. Finley works for a family whose son is notorious for assaulting women. That night Finley catches his eye. He starts to assault her and her inner demon comes out to save her. She flees and gets ran over by my favorite man, Griff.

No instalove. Thank you! The characters in this book are not in love. They are attracted to each other. But things develop slowly. And granted most of their thoughts for each other are lustful. But it has a natural progression of feelings. Their relationship doesn't feel forced.

The humor. Cross kind of pokes fun at her book. Finley uhgs at Emily's love triangle, when she herself is in one. Sam mentions how perfect Finley is and he wouldn't be surprised if wings grew out of her butt.

Beautiful cover. I can't resist a red dress.

Writing. I am not the kind of person that likes long, drawn out descriptions. Give me what I need and move on. There is little purple prose in this book. (But there is a lot of telling instead of showing.)

Finley is a great name.

Multiple POVs. I usually do not like multiple POVs. Often books with multiple POVs annoy me. But it works here. The change in POVs is smooth. And it adds more to the story.

Griffin is not a jerk. Many books have the love interest who is a complete asshole or a creep. But for some ungodly reason the MC falls for him anyway. (cough Jack Dandy cough) Griffin is not that man.

Didn't Like:
The book is romance. Until it's not. Steampunk. Until it's not. Historical. Until it's not. The genres happen in parts. Not in one cohesive package.

The steel corset wasn't a big part of the story. It was more like a blip. It's introduced halfway through the novel and then mentioned again in the final battle.

Shallowness in plot and characters. While the story starts off fast it does loses it's steam pretty fast. The characters are flat and one-dimensional with cardboard personalities that we have seen before. And while I did enjoy the plot and the action, it could have been better. There could have been more mystery. There was little suspense.

Sam. I hate him. He is a horrible character who does not deserve Emily. She is the character that falls for the jerk character.

Finley needed more. She is out main character. This is supposed to be her story! We need more of her background and family to be explored more. Her father was Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde! And what about her personality? She herself barely has one. It's inner demon Finley that has character depth.

Love triangle. Jack Dandy could have easily been written out without much change to the story.

Even with some of the negatice aspects, I enjoyed the book.


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